James Talboys Wheeler.

Early records of British India; a history of the English settlements in India, as told in the government records, the works of old travellers, and other contemporary documents, from the earliest perio online

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Online LibraryJames Talboys WheelerEarly records of British India; a history of the English settlements in India, as told in the government records, the works of old travellers, and other contemporary documents, from the earliest perio → online text (page 13 of 33)
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China root, gallingal, &c., are all for the Surat market

"Their trade to Persia must first come down the famous
Ganges, before it can come into Fort St. George^s channels to
be conveyed to Persia. They never had any trade to Mocha
in the products and manufactures of Coromandel before the
year 1713, ,and Fort St. David supplies the goods for that
port, so that Fort St. George is an emblem of Holland in
supplying foreign markets with foreign goods.

" The colony is well peopled, for there is computed to be Population,
eighty thousand inhabitants in the towns and villages ; and.
there are generally about four or five hundred Europeans
residing there, reckoning the gentlemen, merchants, seamen
and soldiery. Their rice is brought by sea from Ganjara and
Orissa ; their wheat from Surat and Bengal ; and their firewood
from the islands of Diu, a low point of land that lies near
jNIasulipatam, so that any enemy that is superior to them
in sea forces may easily distress them."

Captain Hamilton lias left tlie following account st. xhom^.
of the neighbouring settlement at St. Thome. It
is a curious supplement to the description of the
same town by Dr. Fryer : —

" St. Thomas is next, which lies about three miles to the Legend of
southward of Fort St. George. The city was built by the
Portuguese, and they made the Apostle its godfather; but
before that it was called Meliapore. There is a little dry
rock on the land within it, called the Little Mount, where
the Apostle designed to have hid himself, till the fury of the
pagan priests, his persecutors, had blown over. There was a



Church at
St. Thom6.


convenient cave in that rock for his purpose, but not one
drop of water to drink, so St. Thomas cleft the rock with
his hand, and commanded water to come into the cliit,
which command it readily obeyed ; and ever since there is
water in that clift, both sweet and clear. "When I saw it
there were not above three gallons in it. He staid tliere a few
days, but his enemies had an account of his place of refuge,
and were resolved to sacrifice hira, and in great numbers
were approaching the mount. When he saw them coming-
he left his cave^ and came down in order to seek shelter some-
where else and at the foot of the mount, as a testimony
that he had been there, he stamped with his bare foot on a
very hard stone, and left the print of it, which remains there
to this day a witness against those persecuting priests.
The print of his foot is about sixteen inches long, and, in pro-
portion, narrower at the heel and broader at the toes than
the feet now in use among us. He, fleeing for his life to
another larger mount, about two miles from the little one,
was overtaken on the top of it before he was sheltered, and
there they run him through with a lance and in the same
place where he was killed, he lies buried.

"When the Portuguese first settled there, they built a
church over the cave and well on the Little Mount, and also one
over his grave on the Great Mount, where the lance that
killed the Apostle is still kept as a relic ; but how the
Portuguese came by that lance is a question not yet well
resolved. In that church there is a stone tinctured with the
Apostle's blood that cannot be washed out. I have often been
at both mounts, and have seen those wonderful pieces of

"At the foot of the Great Mount the Company has
a garden, and so have the gentlemen of figure at Fort
St. George, with some summer-houses, where ladies and
gentlemen retire in the summer to recreate themselves when
the business of the town is over, and to be out of the noise
of spungers and impertinent visitants, whom this city is
ol'ten molested with.


" The city of St. Thomas was formerly the best mart town Decay of
on the Coromandel coast, but at present has very little trade
and the inhabitants, who arc but few, are reduced to great
poverty. The English settling at Fort St. George were the
cause of its ruin, and there is little prospect of its recovery.^'

In 1727, some years after the visit of Captain Re-nrganisation

"^ •'•of the Mayor's

Hamilton, the Mayor's Com't at Madras was re- ^'''"^•
organised by Royal Charter. It consisted of a
Mayor and nine Aldermen, with power to decide
all civil cases amongst the English inhabitants; but
there was always an appeal to the Governor and
Council. The change was carried out with much
ceremony. All the gentlemen appeared on horse-
back on the parade, and moved in the following
procession to the Company's garden-house : —

*' Major John Roach on horseback at the head of a Com- Grotesque


pany of Foot Soldiers, with Kettle drum, Trumpet, and other

" The Dancing Girls with the Country music.

" The Pedda Naik on horseback at the head of his Peons.

" The Marshall with his staff on horseback.

*' The Court Attorneys ou horse back.

" The Registrar carrying the old Charter on horseback.

'' The Serjeants with tlieir Maces on horseback,

*■' The old Mayor on the right baud'
and the new on the left.

« The Aldermen two and two, all onf ^'^ l^alberdiers.

" The Company^s Chief Peon on horseback, with his Peons,

" The Sheriff with a White Wand on horseback.

'' The Chief Gentry in the Town on horseback.^-*

The further history of Madras shows the rise of Political


political relations betAveen the English and the
Native powers.



Nawab of Arcot,

Hindu and

Breaking up of
the Moghul

Madras was included in the Moghul province of
Arcot. The English at Madras paid their yearly-
rent of twelve hundred pagodas to the Nawah of
Arcot. The Nawah was suhordinate to the Nizam
of the Dekhan, and paid a yearly trihute to the
Nizam.* The existing state of affairs may be
gathered from the following extract from a general
letter, dated 1733 :—

" Before tins eountiy was conquered by the Mogul, it
was divided into several circles under the government of
particular Rajahs, which descended from father to son. Their
revenues for the most part were from the produce of the
land, and they therefore were always careful to keep up
the banks of the tanks, or reservoirs of water, and to cleanse
them of the mud ; of which they were at the expense them-
selves, knowing that the land would produce more or less
according as they had a quantity of water. But the Moguls
who have now the government of the country, and are con-
tinued in those governments only during pleasure, do not
think themselves under the same obligation to be at that
expense for their successors. By which means in process of
time the tanks are almost choked up, and great part of the
lands lie uncultivated for want of water. This alone would
occasion grain to be scarce and of course dear ; to which if
we add the rapacious disposition of the Moguls, altogether
intent upon making the most of their governments while
they continue in them, we need not seek far for the reason
why, even within these ten years, the lands which are tenanted
are let for more than double what they were before."

In 1738-39, the power of the Moghul King or
Padishah received a mortal blow from the Persian

' The Nawab of Arcot is sometiiues known as the Nawab of the Carnatic.
The Nizam of the Dekhan is better kuown in the present day as the Nizam of


invasion under Nadir Shah.' From that date tlie
Mog-hul provinces began to grow independent of
the Moi?hul court at Delhi. The Nizam of the
Dekhan began to reign as a sovereign prince, and
treated the Nawab of Arcot as his feudatory.

The Nizam of the Dekhan, better known as the Growing


Nizam of Hyderabad, was perhaps the most distin- °[ Hyderabad.
guished man of his time. His real name was Cliin
KuKcli Khan. He is best knoT\Ti by his full title of
Nizam-ul-Mulk, or " Regulator of the State." He
had served in the armies of Aurungzeb. He had
filled important posts in the Court at Delhi. He
had been appointed to the government of all the
Moghul conquests in the Dekhan. He had engaged
in frequent wars against the Mahrattas of Poona
to the west, and those of Berar to the northward.
He was becoming an independent prince. His do-
minion extended from the river Godavari southward
to the river Kistna. It was bounded on the west
by the Mahrattas of Poona ; on the north by the
Mahrattas of Berar ; on the east by the Bay of

The Nawab of Arcot was a deputy of the Nizam. Dependcneeof

^ "^ the Nawab of

His province lay to the south of the Nizam's ^Izam?" ^^^
dominions. It extended from the river Kistna south-
wards to the river Koleroon. It was bounded on
the north by the Nizam's territory ; on the west by
the Mysore country ; on the south by the Hindu

' The invasion of Nadir Shah was not directly felt at a remote settlement
like Madras, excepting that it was followed by Jlahratta invasions in the
Dekhan and Carnatic. It has an important bearing upon the progress of
affairs in Bengal, and will be accordingly noticed hereafter in dealing with
that Presidencv.


kingdoms of Triclimo2:)oly and Tan j ore ; on the east

by the Bay of Bengal.

Hereditary Thc Nawabs wcpo beconilng hereditary. The

appointment was made by the Nizam. The letters

of investiture were received from the Vizier at

Delhi. The Nawab paid yearly tribute to the

TrouwesiBthe About 1740, Pemusular ludla was in a turmoil.

Chunda Sahib, a kinsman of the Nawab of Arcot,
got possession of the Hindu kingdom of Tricliinopoly
to the southward. The Nawab was angry because
Chunda Saliib would not give up Tricliinopoly.
The Nizam was angry because the Nawab had
withheld all payment of tribute. The Mahrattas of
Poena* collected chout and plunder in the terri-
tories of the Nizam. The Mahrattas of Berar
poured into the province of Arcot, and collected
chout and plunder in the territories of the Nawab.
The Nawab of Arcot was killed in a battle against
the Mahrattas.
TriSnopoi? Tlicrc was another complication. Subdar Ali,
the son of the dead Nawab, succeeded his father on
the throne of Arcot, without any regard to the
Nizam. He bribed the Mahrattas to go away by a
promise of two millions sterling, and the cession of
the kingdom of Tricliinopoly. The Mahrattas
took Tricliinopoly. They carried off Chunda Sahib
as a prisoner. Chunda Sahib was kept a prisoner
for several years by the Mahrattas, but was ulti-

^ strictly speaking, the Poona Mahrattas kept their head-quarters at
Satara, and did not return to Poona until some few years afterwiirds.


mately released, and lived to play a prominent part
in history.

The Nizam was more ansrry than ever, The Murder of the

"^ '' Nawab.

Nawah of Arcot had defied Imn. He demanded
instant payment of arrears of tribute from the
Nawab. He threatened to dethrone the Nawab
unless the money was paid. The Nawab was al-
ready at his wits' end to pay the Mahrattas. He
prepared for extremities. He moved into the strong
fort at Vellore. He sent his women and treasures
to Madras. He levied contributions from every
town and fort in the Carnatic. A kinsman named
Mortiz Ali refused to pay his quota. The Nawab
was peremptory. Suddenly the Nawab was mur-
dered at Vellore at the instigation of Mortiz Ali.

Next morninoj Vellore was in a tumult. The Accession of the

^ Nawab's son.

Nawab's oflS.cers clamoured for revenge. They were
quieted for a while by promises of arrears of pay.
Mortiz Ali was proclaimed Nawab. He went in
great state to Arcot, but public opinion was against
him. The Mahrattas at Trichinopoly declared
against him. The Enghsh at Madras refused to
give up the women and treasures of the murdered
Nawab. His army demanded instant payment of
arrears. He disguised himself as a woman and
escaped to Vellore in a covered palanquin. A young
son of the late Nawab was proclaimed Nawab. The
boy was named Sayyid Muhammad.

In 1743 the Nizam of Hyderabad marched to intervention ot

"^ the Nizam.

Arcot with a vast army of eighty thousand horse
and two hundred thousand foot. He found the


Carnatic in anarchy. Every governor of a fort,
every commander of a district, called himself a
Nawab. Eighteen Nawabs paid homage to the
Nizam in one day. The Nizam was fmuous. The
next man who dared to call himself Nawab was to
be scourged.
Amva.-ud-din. Tlic Nlzam apppointed a general of his own to
be Nawab of Arcot. The new Nawab was poisoned.
The Nizam appointed another Nawab named An-
war-nd-din. The people of the Carnatic made a
clamour. They did not want a new comer. They
wanted a Nawab of the old family. New comers
neglected the tanks and oppressed the inhabitants.
The Nizam was willing to yield. He gave out that
Sayyid Muhammad was Nawab ; that Anwar-ud-din
was only a guardian.
Murder of the lu Juuc 1744 thcrc was a wedding at Arcot in
A"wa"r-uwin' tlic familv of thc Nawab. A band of Afghans

becomes Nawab. "^ n ^-^.

had long been clamouring for arrears of pay. On
the day of the wedding they clamoured again ; they
were turned out of the palace ; they feigned great
contrition. In the evening the young Nawab was
sitting in the hall of the palace with Mortiz Ali
and other guests. His guardian was approaching
the palace to join in the festivities. The young
Nawab went out of the hall into the vestibule to
receive his guardian on the steps. He was saluted
with feigned respect by the very Afghans who had
been so clamourous in the morning ; suddenly
he was stabbed to the heart by the leader of the
Afghans. The murderer was cut to pieces on the


spot. Mortiz Ali fled to VcUore. Anwar-ud-din
dismissed the multitude. Both the kinsman and
the guardian were suspected of heing concerned
in the murder. The young Nawah was the last of
the dynasty. After his death Anwar-ud-din was
appointed Nawab by the Nizam.

At tills crisis war broke out between Great Britain war between

Great Britiiia

and France. In 1745 an English fleet appeared at ""^ *''''""■''•
Madras. Dupleix was governor of the Erench set-
tlement at Pondicherry, about a hundred miles to
the southward of Madras. There had always been Madras captured

aud restored.

commercial rivahy between the English at Madras
and the Erench at Pondicherry. Dupleix was
alarmed at the English fleet. He prevailed on the
Nawab to forbid all hostilities between the English
and Erench on the land. The English fleet made
a few captures of French ships on the sea and sailed
away. In 1746 a French fleet appeared off Madras
under La Bourdonnais. The French broke the
orders of the Nawab and bombarded Madras. The
English surrendered the town of Madras and Fort
St. George under promise of ransom. The Nawab
was quieted by the assurance that Madras should
be made over to liim. He was disappointed. He be-
came furious. He attacked the French and was de-
feated. In 17 18 the war was over. Madras was re-
stored to the English by the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

In Europe there was peace between Great Britain Peace in Eurpoe,-

war in ludia.

and France. In Pemnsular India there was no
peace. The English and French at Madras and


PondicheiTv could not qiiict down under the treaty
of Aix-la-Cliapelle. They had both imported sol-
diers from Europe. There was enmity in their
hearts. They only wanted an excuse for fighting.
They espoused the cause of rival Nizams and rival
Nawahs. They could not fight as hostile nations
because of the peace in Europe. They afPected to
be friends. They only came into collision as sup-
porters of rival princes.

Schemes of Duplclx had long been planning grand schemes.

He wanted to establish French influence in the
Carnatic ; to found a Erencli empire in India under
the shadow of a Native power. He knew that the
people hankered after the family of the old Nawabs.
He procured the release of Chunda Sahib from the
Mahrattas. He set up Chunda Sahib as a rival to
Anwar-ud-din. At tliis moment news came that
the Nizam was dead at Hyderabad. He is said to
have been more than a hundred years old.

Death of the Thc Nlzam died in 1748. His death was followed

Nizam : war for

the succession, j^y. ^ ^^j, £qj, ^l^g succcssiou. Hls cldcst SOU was at
Delhi. His second son, Nasir Jung, was in prison
for rebeUion. This second son escaped from his pri-
son and claimed the throne. A grandson, Muzafir
Jung, took up arms against liis uncle. Dupleix
saw liis opportunity. He hoped to place a Erench
Nizam on the throne of Hyderabad and a Erench
Nawab on the throne of Arcot. He supported the
grandson against the uncle, just as he was supporting
Chunda Sahib against Anwar-ud-din.


Fortune smiled on Duplcix. He gained his object cimnda sainb.

tho Freuc'li

as regards setting up Cliunda Sahib as a French ^,Xm,„j^j,
Nawab at Arcot. Anwar-ud-din was slain in battle. Naw'ab! ^"°"'^
His troops fled in confusion. His son Muhammad
Ali escaped south to Trichinopoly. Henceforth
Chunda Sahib, of the old Arcot dynasty, may be
distinguished as the French Nawab, in opposition
to Muliammad AH, the son of the new comer, who
became known as the English Nawab.

Dux3leix acliieved a signal triumph. The French French Nawab

set up by

marched to Arcot accompanied by their native ^upieix.
allies. They enthroned Chunda Sahib as a French
Nawab of Arcot. They went to Pondicherry in
great glory. Dupleix was presented with eighty-
one villages by the new Nawab.

Dupleix had made a French Nawab of Arcot. Eng:iish claimant

at Tricliinopoly.

He had yet to make a French Nizam of Hyderabad.
Meantime the English had espoused the cause of
Muhammad Ali, who was still holding out at Tri-

Dupleix urged Chunda Sahib to attack Trichino- Failure of the

•111* • French

poly ; indeed the immediate capture of Trichinopoly f^]^^^^^ '°
was of paramount importance. It would ruin the '■^"''^"'^^'"'y-
English Nawab and fix the French Nawab firmly
on the throne. It would enable the confederate
forces to march into the Dekhan and place a French
Nizam on the throne of Hyderabad. But neither
the French Nawab nor the French Nizam had any
money. They delayed operations in order to squeeze
Hindu Rajas. Suddenly news came that the uncle
oi* the French Nizam had establislied himself on


the throne of Hycleriibatl, and was marching into

the Carnatic at the head of an overwhelming army.

Nazir Jung, ihc Tho news was a crnshing blow to Dupleix and his

English Nizam. .

native alhes. The new ^izam, Isazu' Jung, was
joined by all the Rajas and so-called Nawabs in the
Carnatic. He was also joined by the English and
the English Nawab ; consequently he is best distin-
guished as the English Nizam. He passed Arcot,
and marched fm^ther south with tlu'ee hundred
thousand horse and foot, eight hundred guns, and
tliirteen hundred elephants.
Triumph of the Tlic Ercncli took the field with their native

Enfrlish Nizam

Nalvab.^"'^ allies; but then' cause was hopeless. To make
matters worse, the officers of the Erench battalion
broke out in mutiny. The Erench Nizam was
forced to surrender. His uncle, the English Nizam,
swore on the Koran not to hurt him. He went
to pay homage to his uncle, but was thrown into
irons. There was thus a complete revolution of
affairs. The English Nizam was established at
Hyderabad, and the English Nawab was estabhshed
at Arcot ; whilst the Erench Nizam was a prisoner
at Hyderabad and the Erench Nawab was a fugitive
at Pondicherry.

Rpvohition and Duiilclx was almost in despair. Suddenly there

transformation. ■*■

was a change in the aspect of affairs. It was not a
revolution, such as might have occurred in a Euro-
pean court ; it was an entire transformation like a
new scene in a pantomime.
Murdornftho Thrcc turbulcut Afghan chieftains raised an

English Nizam ; ,

FrSVizam ^''P^'^^^' ^^ tlic Nizaui s cauip ; the Nizam gallopped


to the spot, and was shot dead. The French Nizam
was taken out of his prison and placed upon the
throne of Ilyderahad.

This imcxi^ected news soon reached Pondicherry. Triumph cr the

■"■ French Nawab.

Dupleix and Chunda Sahib w^ere wild with joy.

They embraced one another like men escaped from

shipwreck. In December 1750 the Erench Nizam

of Hyderabad went to Pondicherry. He entered oiory of oupicix.

the city with Duj)leix in the same palanquin. He

appointed Dupleix to the charge of all the Carnatic

country to the south of the Kistna. He appointed

Chunda Sahib to be Nawab of Arcot under Dupleix.

The French Governor had reaKsed his dream of


In January 1751 the French Nizam returned to French at.

«^ Hyderabad

the Dekhan. He was accompanied by a j^rench '^'^'"' ^"'^^'
force under Bussy. There was another revolution.
The three Afghans were again in discontent.
There was another uproar. The French Nizam was
pierced through the brain with a javelin. Bussy
w^as not discomfited. There were several state pri-
soners at Hyderabad. He selected one that seemed
likely to suit his purpose, and took him out of the
prison, and proclaimed him Nizam of Hyderabad
under the name of Salabat Jung.

Bevolutions had followed one another with saiabatj.m^.the

i'rench Nizam,

bewildering rapidity. It is difiicult to realise the xorthcm circars
political transformations. Dupleix had disj)layed ^^
genius, energy, tact, and audacity. His success
was marvellous. Salabat Jung was a French Ni-
zam in every sense of the word. He not only owed


his throne to the French, hut he was only main-
tained on the throne by Bussy and his French
army. He found that not only his throne hut his
life depended upon the support of a French force.
He ceded a territory six hundred miles in length
along the eastern coast of the Dekhan, as a perma-
nent provision for the maintenance of a French
army. This territory, wliich rendered the French
all-powerful in the Dekhan, was known as the
Northern Circars.
English Nawab Tlic fortuucs of thc Frcuch had reached their

besieged at

r^uuk-herry. gcnith. Thc Euglish had lost their footmg in the
Dekhan; they all hut lost theu' footing in the
Peninsula. There was not only a French Nizam
of Hyderabad but a French Nawab of Arcot. The
Enghsh and their Nawab were still holding out
at Trichinopoly ; but the place was closely besieged
by the French and their Nawab. The fall of Tri-
chinopoly was a mere question of time ; it would
have been followed by the ruin of the English and
the destruction of theu* Nawab. Such was the crisis
of the war ; the moment when Robert Clive gained
name and fame.

Clive relieves Robcrt CHvc was born in 1725; he came to

Trichinopoly I)y

"efcnTe'of Areot. I^^^^ ^^ l74i4i. Hc was a wrltcr in the Company's
service at Madras. Subsequently he served as a
volunteer in the war, and obtained a commission.
In August 1751 he was a young Captain of twenty-
six. He saw, with the instinct of a soldier, that
nothing but the relief of Tricliinopoly could save
tJic English and their Nawal) from destruction ;


that the only way to relieve Trichinopoly was to
draw the enemy elsewhere. He proposed to cap-
tiu'e Arcot, the old capital of the Nawahs. He led
a small force from Madras to Arcot. He marched
without concern throuo-h a terrible storm of rain
and lightning. The garrison at Arcot was in alarm,
and fled at his approach. He entered Arcot and
occupied the fort. The enemy did exactly what
Clive wanted them to do ; they sent an army of ten
thousand men from Trichinopoly to recover Arcot.
Clive had only a hundred and twenty Europeans
and tAvo hundred sepoys. He held out at Arcot for
fifty days. He resisted every assault. He filled
up every breach as soon as it was made. He
sallied forth at night and harassed the besiegers.
He kept the enemy in constant alarm. His prowess
spread far and wide. The Mahrattas were struck
with admiration; and marched to his help. The
commander of the besieging army was more al-
armed than ever ; he threatened, he ofl^ered bribes ;
he tried to carry Arcot by storm. All was in
vain. He was compelled to break up liis camp,
and leave Arcot in the possession of Clive.

The story of the defence of Arcot is famous in cioiy of cuve.
history. The name of Captain Clive was on every

Online LibraryJames Talboys WheelerEarly records of British India; a history of the English settlements in India, as told in the government records, the works of old travellers, and other contemporary documents, from the earliest perio → online text (page 13 of 33)